2008 Cadillac CTS

Motor Trend named it their car of the year. And they actually seem to love it. Styling inside and out, drive train, handling; they ate it all up. I haven’t seen them this effusive in years. Any comments?

Road & Track liked it a lot too, but still put it 2nd to the Infiniti G35. They liked how the G35 handled and its acceleration more. It’s a toss up for me, if I was considering these two cars I’d have a hard time deciding. I can find the article if you are wondering about anything in particular.

I don’t put a lot of faith into magazine comments for the sheer reason that the editors may be a bit biased. It’s very hard to maintain an objective opinion when a new car is provided free and is powered by a company expense account.
If someone at the magazine actually buys one and makes those huge monthly payments each month along with buying their own gas, oil changes, etc. then it would have a lot more credence.
Drive it daily for a year or so and then report on the car.

If someone gave me a new anything and free gas I’ll find reasons to like it. Plus you never know if a factory rep may have a left a gift in the car (small bills maybe) in an effort to influence opinions.
J.D. Power got caught some years ago taking money for doling out awards so it can happen anywhere. You never really know for sure if an editor is being offered 10 grand under the table or not.
Many years ago I remember that one of the car mags praised the performance of a Dodge and it was later discovered this “unaltered car” had actually been through a few performance modifications before being presented to the magazine for testing.

That’s my comments anyway.

Since 1990, the Motor Trend Car of the Year award has gone to Ford, GM and Chrysler 5 times each and to a Japanese brand 4 times which is a pretty good distribution. Google “Motor Trend Wikipedia Car of the Year” to see the list since 1949. Some of the cars that got the award were clinkers but most of the time a deserving car got the award.

The CTS engines require synthetic oil but changes according to the countdown computer program are not frequent enough to matter. Either CTS engine runs on 87 octane gas.

One thought: Hot. Very hot.

Back in the late '60s, Motor Trend raved about the new Pontiac GTO and they published some incredible acceleration figures for it. People rushed out in droves to buy this car, but none of them could come close to matching MT’s 0-60 or 1/4 mile figures. Years later, a retired GM engineer confessed that the car that had been provided to MT was powered by an engine that had been bored out to a substantially larger displacement than the cars that were actually for sale to the public. Thus, it was finally understandable why the general public couldn’t accelerate their GTOs as fast as MT had been able to.

Motor Trend is financed by the glossy display ads from car manufacturers and others, thus meaning that the magazine is essentially dependent on these manufacturers for their existence.

So, anytime a magazine tests a car that is provided to them by the vehicle’s manufacturer, I am skeptical about the “genuineness” of that vehicle. And, when you add in the $$ that come from advertising placed by that manufacturer, I am even more skeptical regarding the objectivity of what is written about that vehicle.

That Cadillac may, indeed, be a fine car. My question is whether the average consumer could purchase one of those Cadillacs that performed quite as well as MT said that theirs did. I remain a skeptic.

I love the pre2008 one and really like the new one. I would short list either as a used car for myself. I have never thought I would drive a domestic that appealed to me. I really like the 6 speed manual too that is very rare amongst any new vehicles these days.

Check this review out. This is not from some one who may be biased towards the three mental midgets.

If the link doesnt work, just copy and pase it to your browser.

According to Wards Automotive 2007 North American Light Vehicle Engines, GM has only one basic 3.6 V-6 that is used in 2007 GMC Acadia, Saturn Aura, Saturn Outlook, Caddy CTS, STS and SRX; Buick Lacrosse and Rendezvous and Pontiac G6. For 08, the Chev Malibu will also use this engine. It is an aluminum engine with steel cylinder liners. Although the Japanese are running pistons in treated aluminum cylinders with success, GM chooses to install a steel sleeve but I don’t know of the reason. I like the idea of using the steel cylinder liners. Harley Davidson does this too with good results. Oil burning Chevrolet Vegas were repaired with steel cylinder liners.

The CTS variation comes with conventional port injection or the more powerful and new direct injection.

On one hand, the CTS does not use a purely Cadillac engine. On the other hand, it is an engine that GM has successfully used which is no small comfort.

COTY seems to rotate from year to year among the most visible advertisers to the magazine, so I’d take any rating with a grain of salt. Having said that, GM is certainly doing well to place so many cars in the top 10 of several different polls and displace the imports, many of which are having quality control issues. Bob Lutz once said that there are no cars today that are not “world class” or they die quickly due to competition.

I would go drive a car and read multiple reviews from as many sources as I could find before buying one. Estimates of reliability are very shaky on a new platform, and I would never buy the first model year of any vehicle offered for sale, foreign or domestic, before the LOLs have a chance to wring it out and thrash it to death from sheer ignorance. The buying public can cause more damage to a vehicle than the most fervent imagination of any automotive engineer.

I haven’t totally trusted C&D or MT in years. If you don’t believe it, compare their review ratings with their advertising pages from the same manufacturers. The C&D comparison of the Pontiac GTO with the new Mustang GT in 2005 was one of the most blatantly biased reviews I’ve ever read. It will take years for them to earn my respect again.

No doubt the CTS is a fine car. The question is, is it worth the price, or does that extra money simply cover a wealth of fancy profitable electronic gadgetry bling that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with how it drives, handles and performs. Was the reviewer stunned by the upscale 40gig hard drive, the pop up GPS, or does it really earn the title due to its function as a mode of transportation? Time will tell. Go back and look at previous years’ winners and ask the same questions.

Did all 12 of the finalists provide doctored cars?

As for your skepticism, good! If you want a car like that, drive one the next time you are in a buying mood. Along with the aforementioned G35 or BMW 335. All they deserve is a test drive. Even the MT guys said that they couldn’t believe they enjoyed it so much.

That’s last year’s model, and it would not have won the MT CoY award. The “feels cheap” issues might have been addressed for him in the 2008. It was for the MT folks.

Given that it’s competition is likely a 5-series Bimmer, E-series MB, and a G37 it seems like a bargain.